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“If only moving involved moving only” July 28, 2011

We’ve all heard of the list of “Most Stressful” life events. Interestingly, this list grew out of research by two psychologists at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe created the Social Readjustment Scale, which is commonly used to identify life’s most stressful events. In creating this scale, they developed a list of the top 43 most common life stressors. Surprisingly, “moving” wasn’t on the list! What?!?

It turns out moving isn’t, in fact, considered part of the research nor is it on the final list of stressful life events. We beg to differ. Here’s what we find most interesting about this urban legend: If you read through the list of the 43 most stressful life events, almost HALF of them could result in or from moving! In fact, two of the items listed imply a move of some sort: #28 Change in living conditions, and #32 change in residence.

Does this mean that the psychologists got it wrong? And where exactly did this common knowledge that moving is a “top 10” life stressor develop? We say: does it matter? Because we know for a fact that moving IS a major life stressor. That is why we at CMFTO do what we do, and that’s why we created our slogan/motto:

“If only moving involved moving only”

If it were just about putting things in boxes on one end and taking them out again somewhere else, it would be reasonable to suggest that moving is not super stressful. But moving involves change….and change is stressful! Whether a client is downsizing due to lifestyle changes or relocating to an unfamiliar place, moving involves much more than simply packing and unpacking.

Therefore, although the folks out in Washington didn’t specifically state “moving” as one of life’s major stressors, it certainly is part of so many of the top stressors that we confidently support the urban legend that it has, in fact, earned its place among the Top 10.

So if you want to minimize the stress in your life the next time you’re looking at moving, downsizing or relocating, give us a call – you’ll be glad you did!

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